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The reported arrest of 41 people in the United Arab Emirates accused of planning terrorist attacks and plotting to overturn the leadership and establish an Islamic “caliphate” has dented the UAE’s image as a safe haven in an otherwise turbulent Middle East. The arrests coincide with a spate of bombings targeting mosques in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and highlight both threats from within the conservative Gulf Arab monarchies and the spillover effect of crises in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The UAE’s Attorney General Salim Kubaish said the 41 suspects, who include UAE and foreign nationals, were planning to carry out terror attacks within the UAE and establish an Islamic state, drawing parallels with the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, where the militant group has already declared a caliphate in areas it controls.
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